Laundry at EHU: Some Lifesaving Tips!

My blog this week is for those readers who live on campus or are going to be living on campus at the start of the next academic year. Prepare yourselves for a dive into the laundry system at EHU, from how it works to a few tips I’ve picked up along the way.

My laundry routine was weekly when on campus. Saturday or Sunday I’d wake up early, pack my washing into my suitcase, and haul it from Chancellors Court, Binns, down to the laundrette. Those of you who end up in Binns will realise that journey can be quite something during the winter. The washing machines take around 30 minutes, dryers 40-50 if my memory serves correct. During those waiting times, I always made use of the Hub or Catalyst, getting a coffee or something to eat. Generally, I’d save the coffee for the long wait so I have more time to enjoy it.

The reason I’ve told you my routine is because a lot of the tips I’m going to make are nestled within it!

Firstly, use your suitcase to transport your washing to the laundrette on campus, it’s a lot easier to move it and if it rains none of your clothes get wet again after being in the dryer.

Regarding the wait time, the Circuit app has timers but its always wise to set a timer of your own so you get a notification when its time to go back to your clothes.

If you’re a bit of a walk away from your accommodation, use the Hub or other facilities and treat yourself. If you time it around the weekend like I did, I always viewed that coffee and maybe cake as a reward for getting through another week at uni.

Moving past those tips now however, the Circuit app is essential for doing your laundry. The app is pretty simple to grasp and there are signs in the laundrette on how to use it, so I won’t go into that. Instead, I’m going to talk about how much money I put on my account per week and why. Each week before I went down to put my clothes in the wash, I’d put £5 in my Circuit account. £5 each week was a little over the required amount for a wash and clean if my memory serves correct, so I was leaving a little in my account each week. Over the weeks you’ll build up the amount in your account until you get a ‘free’ wash, and you can use that £5 on something else!

A screenshot from my Circuit Laundry app.

Laundry isn’t the most exciting topic, but it’s one I wished I knew more about before going to EHU. I hope if anyone is in the same boat I was, my blog this week can work to alleviate any concerns you may have had!

Alice.

Note-Taking: Should You Ditch Paper for a PC?

I am faster at typing than writing, so school lessons were always a pain when I didn’t have access to a laptop. In lessons, I always asked my classmates, “what was the last sentence on that slide?”. I would then go home and waste time typing up my notes thinking it was ‘revision’; truthfully I was wasting time, mindlessly typing.
In University, electronics were welcomed, and this changed how I studied in a welcome way. In this blog, I’ll discuss why this change was for the best for me.

Lighter Load

I did bring some stationery to draw quick diagrams I couldn’t do on my laptop, but as I had all my notes a click away, I didn’t need to bring big ringbinders to lessons. This was convenient for me.
I recommend getting digital helpful college notes, opposed to bring wads of them to Uni. You can easily search the documents for key words, and it’s less to pack!

Saving Money

If you use a laptop/tablet, you’ll be spending less money on paper and stationery. It mightn’t seem like much, but every penny counts!

Software for Studying

You can follow the slides during the lecture instead of scribbling them down quickly, and you can write down what the tutor says in the notes section under the slides in PowerPoint.

Through Disabled Students’ Allowance, I was able to get funding for programs and a laptop for my studies. If you’re eligible for DSA, I encourage you to consider it. The software (Dragon and Sonocent) can be really pricey if you aren’t, though.

Alternatives

Not everyone owns a laptop/tablet, but you can loan laptops from the Catalyst to bring to lessons. Just upload the document to a cloud you can access afterwards and you’re set! I would also recommend this if you get to campus and realise you’ve forgotten pens and paper.

Closing Words

Truthfully, some people just learn better with pen and paper. Some people write faster than they type. Some people prefer learning from paper than a screen. University is all about finding what way you study best, which was something I didn’t really get to do in school.

-Tony

What is Uni Going to Look Like in 2020?

LDOE releases 2020-2021 school reopening guidelines

What is University going to look like this academic year? The honest answer is no one really knows just yet. Whether you’re a new or current student at Edge Hill, I think it’s safe to say that student life is going to be a little bit different.

At the moment, we’ve been given a brief description of what the Campus may be like in September. One way systems and sign posts might be the life we have to live by for the next semester or so, but at least it’s going to keep us safe. Edge Hill has also opted to go cashless. So whether you want to get some food in the HUB or a drink at the SU, you’ll have to pay by card. There’s also a UPAY app which allows you to collect points in order to get free food or a free hot drink on campus. This is a definite must, whilst saving a bit of money too.

https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/services/upay/

Lectures and seminars will probably be different, with having a mix between in person and online learning. This is to limit contact between staff and students. Edge Hill are also trying to timetable in different year groups within the year so there are not many clashes, and less people to deal with on campus at any one time.

Overall, I think Edge Hill is doing a good job with putting things in place to keep staff and students as safe as possible through the pandemic. If you have any questions about this, I would contact the University directly, as they will know more about what systems will be in place etc.

Hope you all have a good rest of your summer, and see you in September!

Ellis x

Signature for my posts. I end every post with a love heart

Advice I would give my first year self

Hey everyone, I thought I would share some advice that I would have given my past first-year self! Hope you enjoy and that some find this helpful.

Library Restrictions

When I was completing my A-levels, all I knew for about 7 months was studying, writing notes, reading and learning notes over and over again. I took this mentality to university and continued to spend most of my free time in the library for all hours of the day which obviously meant that I missed out on some really good times with my friends.

So, what I would tell my past-self now is to set aside time to hang out at the flat and be around your flatmates more often, play monopoly until one in the morning and watch scary movies with them. Make a library schedule as to when you are going work and stick to it and if something comes up with your friends, don’t feel guilty about missing a studying session.

How to Make a Monthly Work Schedule Template | Wrike

Be Yourself and HAVE FUN

This is probably the most cliche piece of advice I can give but it is very important and can make your uni experience far better. Being yourself around the new people that you meet will make things a lot easier for getting to know them and it you won’t get tired of trying to be this whole other person.

Make the most of the places around you!

Edge Hill University is a perfect location for exploring new places such as Liverpool city and Southport etc. They can be great places to do day trips with your friends and to take your family when they visit you. Even Ormskirk is a great place to spend the with parks and cute cafes to try.

Make the most out these places while you have the chance at uni!

I hope that you enjoyed this post and hopefully took something away from it. University is a time to enjoy and have new experiences. It is also a time to learn and work hard but one word that I wished I knew in first year was BALANCE and how to juggle both sides of university.

“Live a life that is well balanced; don’t do things in excess.” 

-Daniel Smith-

Kitchen Packing: Tricks and Tips.

Everyone talks about what you should be packing for your bedroom at university. Whether on-campus accommodation or off-campus accommodation. I’m guilty of this too. However, one of the important topics that gets glazed over is what you pack for your kitchen. Therefore, this week my blog is going to revolve around that all-important kitchen packing list.

The best way to give credible recommendations is to explore the mistakes I made when packing.

All my kitchen stuff on the day I moved into my Chancellors Court at EHU.

In EHU accommodation, more often than not you’ll get one cupboard in the kitchen for all your stuff, which is tiered into two sections by a shelf. Therefore, do not make the mistake I made and pack a colander, it will take up too much space in your cupboard. I’d recommend a sieve for all your drainage needs, because then you also have something for baking! Also, it’s likely to be a lot cheaper of a purchase.

Another mistake I made was taking too many plates and dishes, realistically I’d say you’d only need two of each if you’re on top of your washing up like I was during first-year.

Onto recommendations rather than mistakes! Buy some kitchen foil and keep stocked up on your kitchen foil. You can use the foil to wrap up leftover food like pizza for your fridge, but also put it on your baking trays to save on washing up. For £3 every few weeks, you can save a lot of time, leftover food, and space in your fridge since wrapping something in foil is more space effective than putting it in plastic boxes (Something I often did).

Even if you’re apprehensive on if you’d use them or not, I suggest packing a measuring jug, mixing bowl, some kind of tin to bake with. Anything you don’t use can just be stored beneath your bed. I didn’t have the desire to bake until Christmas came around, so I was thankful I had a mixing bowl and a nice little square baking tin to use. Besides, baking is a good way to score brownie points with your flatmates (The pun there is very intentional).

Overall it’s better to pack light on your kitchen utensils and so on, you’ll most likely want the extra space in your car for clothes when moving to uni if you’re anything like me!

Alice.

How Did I Manage My Money at Uni?

In March I did a similar post, however that was about tips on how to save money, not how to manage it. This blog will focus on how to make the most of every penny.

I used a spreadsheet… for four weeks…

I’m not opening strong here. I spent a lot of time colour-coding a spreadsheet, with goals in the corner. “Try to save £20 a week,” “don’t go into savings,” I wrote. I abandoned the spreadsheet after a month and I don’t regret it. After a day of lessons, do I really want to start plugging numbers into the computer? If you enjoy this, I recommend it! However a banking app was more than enough for me to keep an eye on money.

I was careful

It really was that simple for me. I had a good loan and my second flat rent (choosing a cheaper accommodation is always an idea; Back Halls is £2,400 for the academic year!) was cheap, so I had enough to splurge if I chose to. However, I pinched pennies by shopping at Aldi and not ordering takeaways. I was doing a food shop for as cheap as £12 (investing in non-perishables like pasta and rice goes a long way!) and even in my most expensive accommodation, that still saved me around £28 per week (by dividing my loan after rent by the 40 week contract). There was the launderette, which was less than £3. By using a drying rack, I was able to save money on the dryers in the launderette.

What could I have done differently?

With differing rent and loans, this story doesn’t apply to everyone. My friends recommend splitting a weekly food shop (can be cost effective), as well as sharing a washing machine with a friend.

Closing words

Money is a big worry for a lot of people when it comes to University. However, our accommodation is great value for price and there are ways to be thrifty. If you do find yourself struggling financially, our University does have teams to support you. Rest assured, money isn’t as big of a barrier for Uni students as you might think.

-Tony

Textbooks – A Business School Guide.

Textbooks are essential if you’re a business student. More often than not, they are the key to completing your assignments due to the content being what the essay, or other assessment, is modelled around. Each module has a reading list with a plentiful array of books, some will be essential reading, some recommended reading. My blog this week is going to discuss my approach to acquiring textbooks as a Business School student at Edge Hill.

First and foremost, you will find your module reading lists on Blackboard. In these lists, by clicking on a book, it will tell you where that book is in the library, and if it is in stock. This tool is essential for being savvy about what you loan out or possibly buy yourself.

Snapshot of one of my reading lists for a module I completed in first year.

When presented with a new reading list for a new module, I would ALWAYS check Amazon for the essential book, then check the price of used or new copies. If the book isn’t expensive, I would always buy it. I am the type of learner who prefers to own all their materials rather than loan them out, so I can put tons of sticky notes in the book. If a book was not cheap enough to buy, some I saw racked up to almost £50 on Amazon, then I would loan the book out the library or look at an ebook option with my kindle.

My strategy for loaning books was always to get one out at the start of a module, then loan it out again when I was writing an assignment for those important references. Doing this system for a few modules saved me money, so I certainly recommend it.

My messy bookshelf from my room on campus. These were all the books I owned, which were either purchased or acquire when the library was getting rid of old stock for FREE.

Of course, an assignment can’t contain only one book in the references. So, to get around this, I would write some of the assignment in the library and grab a couple of books from the reading list that were in stock according to the Blackboard app. I would never loan these out, only using them while I was in the library at that time. This was a great way to build up my references and knowledge of the subject in a short period to complete the assignment.

This method and approach served me well in first-year and hopefully will do so again in second-year. Buying all your books might not be possible on other courses due to the amount needed to be read each semester, so bear that in mind and remember that my approach is tailored to the Business School reading list system. I hope this blog helps you either change your ways for the better or give you a snapshot of what it will be like when you start Edge Hill.

Alice.

Why I Love Having a Small Class Size

Unlike a lot of medical schools, our medical school has thirty places in each year group (and fifteen for the Foundation Year). At any other medical school, I’d be sat in lecture theatres with 300+ other students. There’s nothing wrong with that structure, but I prefer being in a class of fifteen-thirty for reasons I’ll explain in this post.

It Feels More Like a Community

All of our class did Secret Santa, and all our tutors know our names and we know theirs. It feels like we are individuals instead of a face in 500, and therefore are more recognised.

Teaching

The support available to us is fantastic (details coming in a later blog!), however it feels like there’s naturally more support thanks to the smaller class size. The teaching has been amazing, however we could ask to have lessons delivered in a different way (we are also encouraged to provide feedback so we can all effectively learn). It is easier to have voices heard in a crowd of thirty than a full lecture theatre.

We’ll Also Work in Larger Groups

Our medical school values the Multi-disciplinary team, and with EHU having many health courses, there’s plans to work alongside other health students. In this way, we get to meet new people and get a taste of what our future will be like, working with other professions.

Being in a Classroom

We’re too small of a class to be in a full lecture theatre. This is great, as I feel like it’s easier to engage when a tutor is nearby. Lessons feel more interactive, and we can ask and answer questions more easily (if we wish). I would feel silly if I had a question and I interrupted a full lecture theatre by raising my hand. A classroom feels more versatile too, for group work, discussions, and breaks.

Closing Words

I’ve only ever been in a large group of (future) medics at events, so I truthfully can’t compare the experience. However, I really value our medical school setting, and I would never change that. With a Medical Society opening up, I’m really excited for what opportunities lie ahead for us.

-Tony

Finding Your Tribe

Hey everyone, as the beginning of your Edge Hill journey is fast approaching, I thought I would share some tips on finding your tribe/that group of people that you want to share your journey with.

  1. Flatmates

These people are more than likely going to be the first people that you meet when arriving at university and so, it is probably a good idea to take some time to get to know them as soon as possible. I know that it might be tempting to shy away in your room and wait for the opportunity to come and meet the flatmates but trust me when I say, pushing yourself to socialise is what is going to make university a whole lot easier.

I was really lucky that all my flatmates were so so nice and we had the best time ever in first year even though we were all different. I am still living with the people I met in first year and with the people I made friends with from downstairs and can safely say that they are now some of my very close friends.

2. Course friends

These are also one of the first people you will meet and most likely in a lecture setting which is not the most ideal place for socialising. However, I found that I got talking to my course mates by simply asking, “Hi, is anyone sitting here?” to which then leads on to a conversation about starting university or where you live or something a long those lines. As I do a primary teaching course, it means that I have smaller classes which I was able to talk easier to some of my classmates which then led to meeting up before lectures or going to classes together etc.

3. Clubs/societies

I have never personally joined a club or society in university aside from the gym but I have heard of other people who have and have made really great friends. I suppose this is because you join a club based on what your interests are and so there you will find other people who have similar interests as you.

I hope that this helps anyone or comforts anyone starting university as making new friends who have similar interests as you can be daunting a very scary. Never be afraid to push yourself to do things that will make you happy in the long run and that will help you through your journey.

“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”

-A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

The Do’s and Don’t’s of your first week at Edge Hill.

Your first week at Edge Hill will be crazy. Freshers activities, meeting people you live with, meeting people on your course, trying to figure out where a certain room is; it’s an exciting but tiring week. Therefore my blog this week intends to look at that first week and tell you what you should do and perhaps shouldn’t do from my experiences. Everyone’s freshers is different so don’t take my word as gospel! 

Do; buy a desk fan if you think you need one. I know this sounds like an odd recommendation, but when I moved in my room on campus was an absolute sauna. During that first day, I had to reapply makeup twice because the heat destroyed it, so I invested preemptively in a desk fan to make my life a little easier. I used that fan almost all year long, even during winter when I’d have the heating on overnight. Of course, some rooms may be cooler than others so leave it a few days from moving in before you go on Amazon or pop into Ormskirk to buy one. 

My celebratory desk fan photo I sent to my parents after managing to put it together.

Don’t; go out and do a food shop during your first week, you will probably overspend. For myself, I went shopping the Saturday for food with my parents at home, then moved in on the Sunday, but I made the mistake of doing a mid-week shopping trip during freshers which I didn’t need to make. Following this suggestion should save you a bit of money, and force you to get a bit creative with whatever food you bought with your parents. Of course, if you completely run out of food during freshers, absolutely go buy some more from Aldi, Morrisons or M&S in town. 

Do; visit Ormskirk. During your first week, I would strongly recommend going into town with either people from your accommodation or your course to look around Ormskirk and get a feel for the town. Knowing where to go to get to supermarkets will make your first food shop a lot easier and will work as a nice bonding experience for whoever you go with. You could take the free student bus, or do what I did and walk it. 

To consolidate my three do’s and don’t’s;

  • DO buy a desk fan if you think your room will need one!
  • DON’T waste money on food that you don’t need, save it for the SU or a takeaway!
  • DO visit Ormskirk with friends!

There’s going to be a lot of suggestions I haven’t been able to touch upon in my blog today, but I’ve hit the most important three based upon my own experience during my first year. Your do’s and don’t’s will be very different from mine I expect!

Alice.